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Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

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A slice of warm delicious down home caramel apple upside down cake is sure to bring a smile to your face.  Add a scoop of ice cream to this spiced cake for an extra special fall treat.

close slice of warm upside down caramel apple skillet cake with scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel sauce.

This upside-down apple skillet cake has a caramel apple bottom that becomes the top when you flip it out. We love baking it in a cast iron skillet, but don’t worry if you don’t have one as that isn’t absolutely necessary. The tips for making it in a cake pan are listed below.

When fall and apple season roll around, it is time to break out the warmer flavors of caramel and cinnamon.  While the fresh flavors of summer are great, it is always fun to return to these cozy flavors.

This caramel apple upside down skillet cake is the perfect way to highlight those autumnal flavors and feelings together in one delicious dessert. It is part spice cake and part sticky caramel apple.

It is great on its own, but of course a scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel make it even more decadent. It is sure to become a family favorite recipe that is requested every autumn.

Making the Cake

Imagine the smells of warm brown sugar, apples and cinnamon baking in your cast iron skillet.  In fact, don’t imagine it…

Get yourself moving towards your kitchen so you can make this happen asap! The apple orchards are starting to bring in the new harvest and there is no time like the present to celebrate.

Looking down on slice of caramel apple upside down cake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce with cinnamon sticks and fresh apples in the background.

Not only will you have the joy of making something super delicious, but your house will smell amazing.  Everyone who enters your kitchen will know something good is about to happen!

Luckily this cake is easy enough to whip up.  There is a simple caramel apple layer that incorporates some of our favorite baking spices to make it extra aromatic and flavorful.

The cake itself comes together quickly and you can have the skillet in the oven in no time at all.  Which is good, because you are going to want to dive in as soon as possible.

Slice of upside down apple skillet cake ready to eat with remaining caramel apple cake in the background.

Start by melting together butter and brown sugar in a skillet. You want to get it good and bubbly, that is an easy way to get the notes of caramel without having to mess with a candy thermometer.

We like stirring in cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg because they go so well with apples. However, you can leave them out and just add the vanilla extract if you prefer.

Set that aside while you whip up an easy cake batter. It is a quick and easy cake batter than can easily be made with a hand mixer.

Arrange apple slices over the caramel in the bottom of the pan. We like using slices and arranging them nicely.

Caramel apple upside down cake freshly turned out of the pan onto a plate, showing cooked apples baked into the cake.

However, you can dice them and throw them in if you prefer. The cake is easier to eat if you peel the apples, but again this is a personal preference and it will still taste good if you don’t want to remove the skins.

After the cake is baked, you will want to let it cool for about 10 minutes, then invert it onto your serving platter. Letting it cool completely will almost certainly make the cake stick to the pan as the brown sugar mixture solidifies.

Make sure tho serve this warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream.  People will remember this cake for a long-long time.

What if I don’t have a 9u0022 cast iron skillet?

Don’t despair! You can still enjoy this cake.  Just make the butter and brown sugar mixture in a saucepan and pour it into a 9″ cake pan. After that, just follow the instructions in the recipe.

What does apple upside down cake taste like?

If a caramel apple and spice cake got together, this caramel apple upside down cake could be their baby!

bite of caramel apple upside down cake in fork ready to eat.

Possible variations to try:

  • Use dark brown sugar for an even deeper caramel-y molasses flavor
  • Toss some chopped pecans or walnuts in with the apple and buttery brown sugar mixture
  • For a milder spice flavor omit the cloves and add just a dash of nutmeg 
Close up of slice of caramel apple upside down cake showing soft spice cake topped with apples and caramel mixture topped with vanilla ice cream.

More Great Apple Recipes to Try

For another rustic apple cake that is great baked in a cast iron skillet, try Dutch apple cake. The recipe comes from my great-great-grandma and my family has been enjoying it as a breakfast cake or coffee cake for at least a century!

Apple butter pie is another great apple flavored dessert. It will remind you a bit of pumpkin pie but with a creamy apple flavor.

If a layered cake is more your style, check out the layers of applesauce cake with caramel cream cheese frosting. It is perfect for an autumnal party.

Or if you are a big pumpkin bar fan, try making applesauce bars. We like ours with a sour cream frosting, but you could use cream cheese frosting if you prefer.

Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

close slice of warm upside down caramel apple skillet cake with scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel sauce.

Upside Down Caramel Apple Skillet Cake

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
This caramel apple upside down skillet cake is the perfect way to get all of those cozy flavors and feelings together in one delicious dessert. It is part spice cake and part sticky caramel apple. It is great on its own, but of course a scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel make it even more decadent!
4.90 from 29 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients
 

Caramel Apple Layer

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium apples peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Cake

  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup milk
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
Makes: 9inch round

Instructions
 

Caramel Layer

  • In a 9 inch cast-iron skillet, melt a stick of butter on medium low heat. When it begins to bubble stir in the brown sugar.
    ½ cup unsalted butter, ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • Continue stirring until smooth and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. Allow to cool while you make the cake layer.
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Cream butter and brown sugar with your hand mixer until smooth and fluffy.
    ½ cup butter, 1 cup light brown sugar
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add milk and mix until combined.
    2 large eggs, ¼ cup milk
  • Stir in the cinnamon, flour and baking powder by hand. Stir just until combined.
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Arrange the apples over the caramel mixture. Spoon the cake batter over the apples and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.
    3 medium apples
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving dish.
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce if desired.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 330kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 3gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 125mgFiber: 2gSugar: 30g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.90 from 29 votes (29 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Kippi O'Hern

Monday 31st of August 2020

Yum, I love apple desserts. Pinned and followed your Pinterest! Have a great day, Kippi

Carlee

Monday 7th of September 2020

Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the cake!

Julia

Friday 13th of September 2019

This dessert speaks to my soul...it looks just perfect!

Carlee

Saturday 14th of September 2019

You are going to love it!

Anonymous

Friday 13th of September 2019

This looks delicious!! If I give this a try in my round cake pan do I need to spray the pan before putting the butter/brown sugar mixture in it? Just wanted to make sure... thanks so much! :)

Carlee

Saturday 14th of September 2019

I would. Your cake pan won't have the seasoning of a cast iron skillet. I can't wait to hear what you think!

Amy

Wednesday 11th of September 2019

All I have to say is - YES PLEASE!

Carlee

Saturday 14th of September 2019

Any time!

Julie | This Main Line Life

Monday 9th of September 2019

This is so delicious. This will definitely become a family favorite.

Carlee

Saturday 14th of September 2019

I am sure it will!